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Interstate 894 Wisconsin

 

Routing

Interstate 894 provides a bypass to the southwest of Milwaukee, connecting with several major suburbs and linking to the southern extension of Interstate 43. Interstate 43 was extended southwest via the former Wisconsin 15 freeway toward Beloit officially on November 24, 1987 (signage was erected in the following year).1 Interstate 894 is co-signed with Interstate 43 on the East-West part of the Bypass. That portion is known as the Airport Freeway. The north-south portion is the Zoo Freeway, and it is signed as Interstate 894 and U.S. 45. The east-west portion (Airport Freeway) is signed jointly as Interstates 43 and 894; prior to 1988, it was signed solely as Interstate 894.

Eastern Terminus - Interstate 94 - Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Perspective from Interstate 43 north/Interstate 894 east
This mileage sign provides the distance to Exit 8, Junction Wisconsin 36, Loomis Road; Exit 9, Junction Wisconsin 241, South 27th Street; and Exit 10, Junction Interstate 94 and U.S. 41. It is the two-mile warning to the eastern end of Interstate 894. Photo taken by AARoads (09/02/05).
After passing Exit 8, Junction Wisconsin 36, Loomis Road and just prior to Exit 9, Junction Wisconsin 241, South 27th Street, is this advance signage for Exit 10, Junction Interstate 94 and U.S. 41. Interstate 43 will turn north along with Interstate 94 west to serve downtown Milwaukee, then continue north on its own to Port Washington, Sheboygan, Manitowoc, and ultimately Green Bay. Photo taken by AARoads (09/02/05).
Eastbound Interstate 43 and Interstate 894 reach Exit 9, Junction Wisconsin 241, South 27th Street. The mileage sign provides the lane allocations for the pending junction with Interstate 94: northbound traffic for downtown Milwaukee should use the left lane, while travelers bound for Chicago should use the right lane. Photo taken by AARoads (09/02/05).
This large diagrammatical sign, which seems to be a fairly common feature at most larger interchanges in the Milwaukee area, shows the lane allocations in graphical detail. The left two lanes follow Interstate 43 north along with Interstate 94 and U.S. 41 toward downtown Milwaukee. The right lane connects to southbound Interstate 94 and U.S. 41 en route to Chicago. The exit to the right connects with Wisconsin 241/South 27th Street (Exit 9). Interstate 894 ends in less than one mile. Photo taken by AARoads (09/02/05).
For General Mitchell International Airport, follow Interstate 94 east/U.S. 41 south (Exit 10B) to the airport exit, which is the first exit after joining Interstate 94. Photo taken by AARoads (09/02/05).
As we close in on the Interstate 94/U.S. 41 interchange, this is the final set of reassurance shields for Interstate 43-894 to be found in the median along eastbound. Photo taken by AARoads (09/02/05).
Another set of overhead signs confirm the lane allocation for the three routes (Interstate 43, Interstate 94, and U.S. 41). Photo taken by AARoads (09/02/05).
Like Interstate 794, Interstate 894 is also signed with an END shield. Photo taken by AARoads (09/02/05).
The southern/eastern terminus of Interstate 894 is here, at Exits 10A-B. Interstate 43 leaves Interstate 894 onto Interstate 94/U.S. 41 northbound into downtown Milwaukee (Exit 10A). The two highways split in six miles at the original southern terminus of Interstate 43. Exit 10B, meanwhile, connects Milwaukee to Chicago via Interstate 94 east/south. U.S. 41 overlaps with Interstate 94 between Exit 308 and the Illinois state line. Photo taken by AARoads (09/02/05).
Perspective from Interstate 94 west
The first advance warning sign along westbound (northbound) Interstate 94 and U.S. 41 (North-South Freeway) for the pending junction with Interstate 894 is this sign, posted about two miles south of the interchange and about a half mile south of the General Mitchell International Airport. At the Interstate 894 interchange, Interstate 43 merges onto north/westbound Interstate 94 toward downtown Milwaukee. Photo taken by AARoads (09/02/05).
About a quarter mile further north on northbound/westbound Interstate 94/U.S. 41 is this mileage sign, which again states the distance to the Interstate 43/894 junction is two miles ahead. The next exit along northbound serves General Mitchell International Airport, which is the primary aviation hub for the Milwaukee region. Photo taken by AARoads (09/02/05).
Westbound Interstate 94/northbound U.S. 41 reaches Exit 318, General Mitchell International Airport. A short freeway spur (Wisconsin 119) connects Interstate 94 with the airport. Photo taken by AARoads (09/02/05).
The next exit along northbound/westbound Interstate 94/U.S. 41 is Exit 317, Layton Avenue. Traffic for Layton Avenue should stay right, while traffic for Interstate 894 west and Interstate 43 south should use the left lanes. Through traffic for Interstate 43 north and Interstate 94 west may use the two right lanes only to continue toward downtown Milwaukee. The split between Interstate 94 and Interstate 894 is Exit 316. Photo taken by AARoads (09/02/05).
Another advance sign for Exit 316, Junction Interstate 43 south and Interstate 894 west, is posted along northwestbound Interstate 94/U.S. 41. According to Kurumi.com, there were plans in 2003 to renumber the Interstates in and around Milwaukee to decrease traffic impact in downtown Milwaukee at the Marquette Interchange (current junction of Interstate 43, Interstate 94, and Interstate 794). Under a plan recommended by Mayor John Norquist, Interstate 894 would be eliminated, and the entire route would be renumbered as Interstate 94. The section of Interstate 43/94 would become solely Interstate 43, and the section of Interstate 94 between Interstate 894 and Interstate 794 would become part of a much longer Interstate 794.2 Near as we can tell, Mayor Norquist's proposed renumbering is not planned for implementation. Photo taken by AARoads (09/02/05).
This diagrammatical overhead sign provides the lane assignments for travelers on northbound (westbound) Interstate 94 as the North-South Freeway approaches the junction with Interstate 43 and Interstate 894, the Airport Freeway. Note that this is a left exit, and the right two lanes continue north as Interstate 43 and Interstate 94 (and U.S. 41). Photo taken by AARoads (09/02/05).
Notably, the control cities for Interstate 43 south and Interstate 894 west are not located on either route. The first, Madison, is actually a control point for westbound Interstate 94. This sign is geared to helping through traffic avoid downtown Milwaukee if they are heading toward Madison. The second control point, Fond du Lac, is located northwest of Milwaukee along the U.S. 41-45 corridor at the southern end of Lake Winnebago. To reach Fond du Lac via Interstate 43 south/Interstate 894 west, follow Interstate 894 west to U.S. 45 north, and follow U.S. 45 north to U.S. 41. Follow the U.S. 41 freeway north to Fond du Lac. Photo taken by AARoads (09/02/05).
After the Layton Avenue interchange (Exit 317), the North-South Freeway prepares to divide for the Airport Freeway interchange. The two left lanes exit to connect onto Interstate 43 south/Interstate 894 west, while the two right lanes continue straight ahead as Interstate 43 north/Interstate 94 west/U.S. 41 north toward downtown Milwaukee. Photo taken by AARoads (09/02/05).
Northbound/Westbound Interstate 94 and U.S. 41 reach Exit 316, Junction Interstate 43 south and Interstate 894 west. Painted chevrons line the two left lanes as they prepare to exit only westbound. The two right lanes continue north as Interstate 43 north/Interstate 94 west/U.S. 41 north toward downtown Milwaukee. Note the reduced speed limit (50 miles per hour) through this interchange. Photo taken by AARoads (09/02/05).
Perspective from Interstate 43 and U.S. 41 south/Interstate 94 east
This mileage sign is the first mention of Interstate 894 on southbound Interstate 43 and U.S. 41 and eastbound Interstate 94. The interchange is about 2.75 miles south of here. Photo taken by Chris Lokken and Mike Saldivar (08/13/06).
Continuing down the North-South Freeway southbound, now within 1.50 miles from Interstate 894's eastern terminus. Photo taken by Chris Lokken and Mike Saldivar (08/13/06).
This is the one-mile guide sign for Interstate 894's eastern terminus and Interstate 43's split from Interstate 94 and U.S. 41. This is typical of the kind of guide sign that Milwaukee has erected in recent years. Note the lack of cardinal directions (except for Interstate 894 which has west) and the control point of "To Airport." Photo taken by Chris Lokken and Mike Saldivar (08/13/06).
Continuing south on Interstate 43-94/U.S. 41, this lane allocation sign is posted overhead for Interstate 894's eastern terminus. Note how this sign is done in the same style as the one-mile guide sign. Photo taken by Chris Lokken and Mike Saldivar (08/13/06).
Northern Terminus - Interstate 94 - Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Perspective from Interstate 94 east
Shortly after its interchange with U.S. 18/Moreland Blvd/Bluemound Road/Waukesha County JJ, the next three exits along eastbound Interstate 94 are: Junction Waukesha County O/Moorland Road 1.25 miles, Junction Wisconsin 100/108 Street/Mayfair Road 4.5 miles, and Junction Interstate 894/U.S. 45/Zoo Freeway five miles. This is the first mention of Interstate 894. Interstate 94 is six lanes wide from Waukesha County SS (exit 290) east until at least the Marquette Interchange (Junction Interstate 43 and Interstate 794). Photo taken by Chris Lokken and Mike Saldivar (08/13/06).
This is the two-mile guide sign for the Zoo Interchange (western terminus of Interstate 894). These style of signs (which were recently erected probably around 2004 or so) are posted on every major freeway-to-freeway interchange in the Milwaukee area (the exceptions being the interchange between U.S. 41/45 and Wisconsin 145 in northwestern Milwaukee and the interchange between Interstate 94/U.S. 41 and unsigned Wisconsin 119 near Mitchell International Airport). Notice no control points are used. This shot is taken between Waukesha County O/Moorland Road and Wisconsin 100 while still in Waukesha County. Photo taken by Chris Lokken and Mike Saldivar (08/13/06).
Interstate 94 eastbound is about to enter Milwaukee County. The next three exits are: Junction Wisconsin 100/N. Mayfair Road/S. 108th Street one mile, Junction Interstate 894/US 45 1.75 miles, and Junction Wisconsin 181/84th street three miles. Use Wisconsin 181 to access the State Fairgrounds and the Pettit National Ice Center. Olympic skaters use the Pettit as a practice facility. Photo taken by Chris Lokken and Mike Saldivar (08/13/06).
This diagrammatical sign is found on Interstate 94 eastbound at the exit ramp for Wisconsin 100. Use Wisconsin 100 to get to the Milwaukee County Zoo. Wisconsin 100 is a bit of a weird route...it's "C"-shaped. Basically Wisconsin 100 is like a surface boulevard beltway offering a route around Milwaukee (270 degrees). It merges with the Zoo Freeway on the northwest side, entering Waukesha County at Menomonee Falls. As such, it is signed as east/west on its east-west portions and north-south otherwise. Consequently, if you were to drive Wisconsin 100 from start to finish, you'd head west, then north, then east. Photo taken by Chris Lokken and Mike Saldivar (08/13/06).
Traveling east on Interstate 94 toward the Zoo Interchange, this mileage sign provides the distance to the next four exits: Exits 305A-B, Junction Interstate 894 and U.S. 45 (Zoo Freeway); Exit 306, Junction Wisconsin 181/84th Street; and Exit 307A, 68th Street and 70th Street. This sign is mounted next to the Wisconsin 100 (108th Street) overpass. The 68th street/70th street offramp is a good alternative for Wisconsin 181 to the State Fairgrounds. Notice the older style "Hwy 45 - 894" and the consequential preference afforded to U.S. 45. Photo taken by AARoads (09/02/05).
The best route to General Mitchell International Airport is via Interstate 894 east to Interstate 94 east/U.S. 41 south to the airport exit. This avoids downtown Milwaukee and its associated traffic delays. Photo taken by AARoads (09/02/05).
Interstate 94 eastbound at Exit 305A for Interstate 894/U.S. 45 south. Exit 305B serves U.S. 45 northbound as the Zoo Freeway continues to Wauwatosa and northwest Milwaukee. For Interstate 894 travelers, the junction with Interstate 43 is located at Exit 4, which is four miles to the south. U.S. 45 leads north to northwest Milwaukee to merge with U.S. 41, which continues as a freeway to Fond Du Lac, Oshkosh, Appleton, and Green Bay. U.S. 45 also serves Fond Du Lac and Oshkosh, but on a more local level (serves the downtown areas) and is not a freeway north of West Bend (U.S. 41 stays west of West Bend however). Photo taken by AARoads (09/02/05).
Eastbound Interstate 94 reaches Exit 305A, Junction Interstate 894/U.S. 45 south to bypass downtown Milwaukee and connect to the southern and western suburbs of Milwaukee. This is also the best through route to Chicago and provides a direct connection to the airport. U.S. 45 is cosigned with Interstate 894 on its north-south portion, splitting at the Interstate 43 interchange, where it overlaps briefly with Interstate 43 before joining Wisconsin 100 in Hales Corners. Photo taken by AARoads (09/02/05).
Now at the gore point for Exit 305A, the left exit ramp connecting to northbound U.S. 45/Zoo Freeway to Fond du Lac comes into view. U.S. 45 is a major north-south corridor in Wisconsin (see below for additional information about this route). Photo taken by AARoads (09/02/05).
Continuing on Interstate 94 eastbound, this is the ramp connecting to U.S. 45 north. The bridges above are part of the Zoo Interchange, one of the busiest and most congested in the state of Wisconsin. This interchange is probably going to be reconstructed after the Marquette Interchange reconstruction is complete and after the improvements to Interstate 94/U.S. 41 south of the airport are complete. Photo taken by Chris Lokken and Mike Saldivar (08/13/06).
Perspective from Interstate 94 west
This mileage sign, found along westbound Interstate 94/East-West Freeway, is the first indication of the pending junction with Interstate 894. The sign provides the distance to the next three exits: Exit 307A, 68th Street and 70th Street; Exit 306, Junction Wisconsin 181/84th Street; and Exits 305B-A, Junction Interstate 894 and U.S. 45 (Zoo Freeway). Photo taken by AARoads (09/02/05).
U.S. 45 is a major north-south corridor that spans the state of Wisconsin. Entering from Illinois near Bristol, U.S. 45 closely parallels Interstate 94 and U.S. 41, but does not merge with either route between the state line and the Milwaukee metropolitan area. However, upon entering the metropolitan area, U.S. 45 assumes freeway characteristics by merging onto Interstate 894 in Greenfield, then continuing north through West Allis to meet Interstate 94. North of Interstate 94, U.S. 45 continues as a freeway, merging with U.S. 41 in northwestern Milwaukee. The two routes remain close to each other through central Wisconsin, both choosing to remain west of Lake Winnebago. Whereas U.S. 41 is almost entirely freeway north to Green Bay, U.S. 45 generally opts for the more local route. U.S. 45 stays west of Green Bay and travels north into Michigan. Photo taken by AARoads (09/02/05).
This diagrammatical overhead sign shows the lane allocations for the pending junction with Interstate 894 and U.S. 45 along westbound Interstate 94. The left lane becomes exit only for Exit 305A, Junction Interstate 894 and U.S. 45 south (bypass) to Chicago (and to Interstate 43 southwest to Beloit and Rockford). The right lane departs onto northbound U.S. 45 en route to northwestern Milwaukee, Menomonee Falls, West Bend, and Fond du Lac. The two right lanes continue west along Interstate 94 toward Madison. This diagrammatical sign is located at the gore point for Exit 306, Junction Wisconsin 181/84th Street. Photo taken by AARoads (09/02/05).
Another mileage sign provides the distance to Exits 305A-B, Junction Interstate 894 and U.S. 45 (Zoo Freeway); Exit 304, Junction Wisconsin 100, 108th Street; and Exit 301, Junction Waukesha County Route O. U.S. 45 is named the "Zoo Freeway" because of the proximity of the freeway to the zoo. In fact, the Milwaukee County Zoological Gardens is located on the northwestern quadrant of the Interstate 94/Interstate 894/U.S. 45 interchange. Photo taken by AARoads (09/02/05).
The next sign bridge on westbound Interstate 94 further delineates the lane assignments for the three routes. Interstate 894 does not have any independent mileage; it is always cosigned with another route. On its east-west section, it is signed along with Interstate 43. On its north-south section, it is signed along with U.S. 45. Photo taken by AARoads (09/02/05).
Westbound Interstate 94 reaches Exit 305B, Junction U.S. 45 north. If proponents have their way, the section of U.S. 45 from here north to U.S. 41 in northwestern Milwaukee and U.S. 41 north to Green Bay may become Interstate 41, which is part of the Congressional High Priority Corridors System (it is High Priority Corridor #57). Photo taken by AARoads (09/02/05).
Continuing west, the left lane departs from Interstate 94 and connects to southbound Interstate 894 and U.S. 45. The control point is Chicago (since it acts as a bypass of downtown Milwaukee). However, the route also connects to Interstate 43 southwest to Beloit, where it connects to Interstate 39, which travels south into central Illinois. Interstate 39 offers an excellent bypass of the Chicago metropolitan area en route to St. Louis and points south via Interstate 57, Interstate 24, and Interstate 55 (including Little Rock, Nashville, and Memphis). Photo taken by AARoads (09/02/05).
Perspective from Interstate 894/U.S. 45 south
The first exit on southbound Interstate 894 and U.S. 45 (Zoo Freeway) after the Interstate 94 interchange is the junction with Wisconsin 59, Greenfield Avenue (Exit 1D). Photo taken by AARoads (09/02/05).
These are the first reassurance shields for Interstate 894 and U.S. 45 south of the Interstate 94 interchange. Most of the reassurance shields along Interstate 894 are posted in the median. The exception seems to be on the North-South Freeway south of the Marquette Interchange. There are still reassurance shields for Interstate 43/94 in the median, but the newer ones that include U.S. 41 are posted in the standard position on the right side of the mainline. Anyways, all of Interstate 894's reassurance shields are in the median, with the exception of the first one with Interstate 43 north, which is on the right (unless construction alters its location). Photo taken by AARoads (09/02/05).
Four miles south of the Interstate 94 interchange, Interstate 894 and U.S. 45 meet Interstate 43. Interstate 43 and Interstate 894 merge together for their journey east toward the airport and Interstate 94, while U.S. 45 turns south onto Interstate 43 briefly, then turns south toward Franklin. Photo taken by AARoads (09/02/05).
Perspective from U.S. 45 (U.S. 41 and Wisconsin 100) south
This sign bridge is found in Waukesha County (more specifically Menomonee Falls) on U.S. 41/U.S. 45/Wisconsin 100 southbound approaching the interchange with Wisconsin 145. Notice how Interstate 894 "bypass" is used as a control point. Photo taken by Chris Lokken and Mike Saldivar (08/13/06).
Further south along U.S. 41/U.S. 45/Wisconsin 100 south, getting closer to the junction with Wisconsin 145. Basically this is the same sign as the previous sign, but it is closer to the actual interchange. This sign bridge is likely located within Milwaukee County. Photo taken by Chris Lokken and Mike Saldivar (08/13/06).
There's another sign bridge with the "To Interstate 894 Bypass" at the actual split for Wisconsin 145. Continuing south, this is at the interchange with Milwaukee County PP/Good Hope Road (which is kind of in the interchange with Wisconsin 145). Naturally, there is yet another "To Interstate 894 Bypass" sign! Photo taken by Chris Lokken and Mike Saldivar (08/13/06).
Southbound U.S. 45 and Wisconsin 100 split from U.S. 41 at this interchange. This is the last of the "To Interstate 894 Bypass" signs. Photo taken by Chris Lokken and Mike Saldivar (08/13/06).
Now with Wisconsin 100 being split off, U.S. 45 continues alone toward the Zoo Interchange with Interstate 94 ... only 1.75 miles away. Before hitting that interchange, U.S. 45 southbound traffic must first encounter interchanges with Watertown Plank Road and U.S. 18/Wisconsin Avenue/Bluemound Road. Photo taken by Chris Lokken and Mike Saldivar (08/13/06).
This is the one-mile guide sign for the Zoo Interchange/Interstate 894's western (northern) terminus. This is another one of those plain guide signs with no control points. Milwaukee has been erecting a lot of these types of signs recently. Photo taken by Chris Lokken and Mike Saldivar (08/13/06).
Continuing south on U.S. 45, this diagrammatical sign for the Zoo Interchange/Interstate 894's western terminus is posted just prior to the junction with Interstate 94 and Interstate 894. Kind of odd to see this off to the right instead of overhead; most of these types of signs are posted overhead. Note that again there are no control points in use. Photo taken by Chris Lokken and Mike Saldivar (08/13/06).
Southbound U.S. 45 approaches its junction with Interstate 94 and Interstate 894 (Zoo Interchange). Lane allocation sign bridge for the Zoo Interchange. Control points are finally making appearances: Milwaukee, Chicago, and Madison. Photo taken by Chris Lokken and Mike Saldivar (08/13/06).
Interstate 94 eastbound traffic for downtown Milwaukee departs via a single lane ramp from the left. Traffic wishing to head west towards Waukesha and Madison will depart next, but from the right (also from a one lane ramp). Photo taken by Chris Lokken and Mike Saldivar (08/13/06).
Interstate 894 begins as Interstate 94 westbound traffic departs. U.S. 45 continues south along with Interstate 894. Photo taken by Chris Lokken and Mike Saldivar (08/13/06).

Sources

  1. Interstate 894 (Chris Bessert) - visit Chris's excellent page for more information on the co-signed section of Interstate 43 and Interstate 894 as well as information on the history of Interstate 894. Chris also notes a discrepancy in total mileage of Interstate 894 (including the Interstate 43 overlap): the official Federal records show 10.02 miles, while the Wisconsin Department of Transportation records show 10.09 miles in length.
  2. Three Digit Interstates: Interstate 894 (Scott Oglesby/Kurumi.com)

Page Updated November 21, 2006.

 
Mileage

State Wisconsin
Mileage 10.02(10.09)1
Cities Milwaukee, West Allis, Greenfield
Junctions Interstate 94, Interstate 43, Interstate 94
Source: October 31, 2002 Interstate Route Log and Finders List
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